Arts curriculum statement
At St Augustine’s we are committed to providing all children with learning opportunities to engage in The Arts. The purpose of The Arts in education is to give pupils the skills, techniques and knowledge necessary for them to express their responses to ideas and experiences in a verbal, visual or tactile form. It fires their imagination and is a fundamental means of personal expression. It is our intent that through The Arts, the children at St Augustine’s will, from the early years, develop a sense of creativity, self-expression and PRIDE.
By providing the opportunities to engage in The Arts we believe that the children at St Augustine’s will have the tools and experience to make them ready for the next stage of their education and further life. Engaging in The Arts also provides possibilities in school and in their wider community for children to explore and express themselves now and in the future.
To ensure high standards of teaching and learning in The Arts, at St Augustine’s, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school. The Arts are taught as part of a half-termly or termly topic, focusing on knowledge and skills stated in the National Curriculum.
At St Augustine’s we ensure that The Arts are given the same importance as the core subjects and each subject within The Arts is taught weekly. We feel it is important to provide opportunities to enable all children to gain ‘real-life’ experiences through teacher led lessons, sessions with external providers, trips and visits and engaging with the local community.
Art and Design
Throughout the Foundation Stage, children are given the opportunity to explore colour, texture, shape and form in two and three dimensions. The children have access to a wide range of activities, both adult led and independent, where they are able to develop their own creative ideas through construction, collage, painting, drawing and activities using various art materials. Nursery and Reception children follow the Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage document and produce a wide range of work in a wide range of Medias. For Art and Design they focus on the key strands: Understanding the World – The world, and Expressive Arts and Design – Exploring and Using Media and Materials and Being Imaginative.
At key stage 1 pupils are taught to use a range of materials creatively to design and make products; to use drawing, painting and sculpture to develop and share their ideas, experiences and imagination. They will develop a wide range of art and design techniques in using colour, pattern, texture, line, shape, form and space and learn about the work of a range of artists, craft makers and designers, describing the differences and similarities between different practices and disciplines, and making links to their own work.
At key stage 2 the National Curriculum states that pupils should develop their techniques, including their control and their use of materials, with creativity, experimentation and an increasing awareness of different kinds of art, craft and design.
Pupils create sketch books to record their observations and use them to show a progression of skills leading to a final piece of work as well as a tool to review and revisit ideas. As each child moves through school they build upon their prior learning to improve their mastery of art and design techniques, including drawing, painting and sculpture with a range of materials and learn about great artists, architects and designers in history.
Across the school, a music specialist now implements weekly planned sessions of Music.
Planning will also include assemblies/visits by school groups to perform, class/group/individual work, peripatetic teachers and visits from professional musicians.
Music lessons are carried out in a designated area of the music room or in classrooms. Music will be incorporated into one weekly class lesson of 20 minutes for Early Years Foundation and 30 minutes for Years 1 to 6. There will also be a weekly singing lesson of approximately 30 minutes, and in addition to other occasions, where music will naturally occur in whole school assembly time, topic work, Early Years Foundation Stage play, KS1 and KS2 peripatetic teaching and participation in performances. Each session is tailor-made according to the music awareness and age group.
Instruments are used as and when appropriate. Children will be taught the mechanisms of playing an instrument. There is a range of tuned and unturned percussion instruments available in the music corner for individuals, groups and classes. All children at the school will have the opportunity to learn a tuned instrument as they progress through the school.
The children will be taught in groups, partners, individually and in whole-class settings. Collaboration is encouraged to enable the children to share their ideas. The children will be given opportunities to present their ideas to the class.
A variety of teaching methods will be used. These will vary according to the child’s age, ability, interests and experience.
Opportunities for Learning
* Singing for pupils in all Years (1-6), and the Early Years Foundation
Stage, (Nursery and Reception);
* Singing and instrumental performances in school and in the local community by pupils;
* Visits from professional musicians, to work with the children in a wide variety of styles and cultures.
* Musical performances.
Drama is used as a key tool in developing oral skills, vocabulary development, building confidence, self- esteem and enhancing life skills, and as an essential tool in developing
imaginative, expressive, and persuasive spoken and written language. Imaginative role play is fundamental to developing the whole child, not just in Early Years and KS1 education, but also as the children develop, and our curriculum provides opportunities to perform to wider audiences through assemblies and events around key festivals. Throughout school we have various drama specialists within our teaching teams which come as a great asset to the development of our student’s confidence, determination, social skills and cognitive fluency in reading and writing. Drama is mostly implemented through literacy lessons with great focus within speaking and listening, but also within historical context, narrative, perspectives and discussion.
There are increasing opportunities for our pupils to perform as they progress through the school and with the support of external providers the children are exposed to a range of drama activities, techniques and genres that will support them in engaging with opportunities outside of school. With a concentrated focus on supporting life skills: building relationships, lifting eloquence in speech, vocal projection, expressing emotion and opinion whilst using such techniques as ‘Hot seating’, ‘Freeze Frame’ ‘Tableau’, ‘Thought Tracking’ and ‘Response in role’ create a seamless blend between creativity, social application and academic abilities.
Within The Arts we strive to create a positive, engaging and supportive learning environment for the children of St Augustine’s. Teaching of The Arts at St Augustine’s is high in quality, rich in opportunities, well thought out and planned to demonstrate progression of skills throughout school.
Each pupil will;
- Experience a broad, balanced Arts curriculum, with an emphasis on the development of understanding and skills in art and design, music and drama.
- Children will achieve age related expectations in all subjects of The Arts.
- Children will retain knowledge of the skills they have been taught and build upon these each year.
- Experience The Arts through other areas of the curriculum.
- Become more self-confident in how they present themselves and their work.
- Be provided with a wide range of opportunities to express themselves creatively and broaden their horizons.
- Be exposed to The Arts in their community and the wider world.
- Have the tools to discuss their own strengths and weaknesses, allowing them to become independent and self-aware.
- Children will understand what being an ‘artist’ means.